The outgoing president of Botswana has done what most Africans leaders are too scared to do in public, attack US president, Donald Trump, for “encouraging poaching”.
Trump overturned a ban on the import of hunting trophies.
Speaking at an anti-poaching summit in Botswana, two weeks before he steps down, President Ian Khama told the BBC it was not just Mr Trump’s attitude towards wildlife he was concerned about, but his “attitude towards the whole planet”.
The US government recently made a U-turn on the import of animal heads from Africa – the “trophies” prized by American hunters travelling to the continent.
Mr Khama said that his government had “actually banned hunting” but that Mr Trump’s lifting of the trophy ban was “encouraging poaching in this country”.
Mr Khama was speaking at the Giant’s Club Summit in Kasane, which is discussing efforts to tackle the poaching epidemic which is killing tens of thousands of elephants every year.
Although the number of animals being poached for ivory has been dropping over the past few years, more elephants are being killed for their tusks than are being born, leaving them in danger.
“We haven’t passed the worst of the poaching crisis,” said Mike Chase, director and founder of Elephants Without Borders.
“The political will to address these issues is unfortunately not there. It has been in Botswana, and if our neighbours can learn from Botswana’s example I feel we can address this poaching crisis.”